XYZ final project idea


For our final, Shreiya, Chengtao and I have decided to build a “dodge stick” game, where the objective of the game is to avoid a slow moving but relentless stick aimed at touching you. The inspiration for this came from the movement practice of Ido Portal, who famously trained UFC fighter Conor McGregor.

The X and Y of contraption will be approx. 6×6 feet in width and length. The part of it that interacts with the player will be a foam noodle that extends down from a cardboard Z that will be moved up and down by a threaded rod inside. For the safety of the player, we will ensure that no metal parts will come into contact with them. As for control, we are envisioning some kind of controller device that a Player 2 can use to guide the stick and try to touch the Player 1 who is inside the game.

See rough sketch below:

Issues to be resolved include:

-the stick portion will need to change levels AS WELL AS rotate. So it will be XYZR (R for rotation, and Z for level change). How will we make a system that allows for rotation and level changes?

-what material will we use for the gantry? None of us have much money — we are not going to shell our hundreds of $$$ for an XYZ final. How do we achieve our ends in an affordable way?


Solar Project: One week of stats!

On Tuesday March 13, we met up to assemble and install our solar project on the east facing windows on the ITP floor.

There was some concern that the circuit wouldn’t work, because when we connected the circuit (the Adafruit solar panels, the power converter, and the MRK1000), it never really worked even with the direct indirect sunlight (i.e. sunlight reflected from windows of the nearby building). However, we assembled the circuit at the north-facing windows. See the spotty reception below:

We tried using some capacitors to mediate the charge build-up but to no avail. Finally, it was decided that since it had worked when we had shown the project during the class, that it would work again with direct (not indirect) sunlight. Thus, we found a suitable cardboard enclosure to put it all in, and secured it to the window.

To our satisfaction, the device started sending data to the server on MyDevices which Dan had made an account for. It has been tracking the data since we put it in.

On the data, it means:

Channel 0 means time
Channel 1 stats the battery level (which we am not sure we measured properly , because we are not using those pins to connect our solar panel.)
Channel 2 is sending 1 everything he can

Solar Energy Project (so far)

For our solar energy project, Marcha, Daniel & I are creating a solar-powered “status of Roland” program. What is that, you may ask?

Well quite simply, when we were gathering for our meeting last Saturday on the floor, Roland happened to be sitting with us and he basically offered unsolicited feedback on our ideas, to the point of discouraging hilarity. In other words, he shat on all our ideas (pardon my French).

In honour of this hilarious event, decided our program to operate like this:

  • when the solar panels reach the required power levels, it powers the MKR1000
  • Over wifi, the MKR1000 program communicates with a serve that displays an image of Roland with his thumbs up
  • when the solar panels do not reach the required power levels, the program will have Roland with his thumbs down

We will be using the shop’s Adafruit Medium 6V 2W solar panel, with its Li-Po charger.

What has been done:

  • We decided to not use a battery. Instead, we are relying on the power on/off of the board to run the program. This simplifies the circuit.
  • MKR1000 power measurements by multimeter:
    • without wifi: 20mA
    • with wifi: 120mA
    • (above calculations to be verified)
  • Solar panel when directly measured with multimeter (i.e. not through the Li-Po charger) is 5V but is unable to light an LED.

A Tangent that I Spent A Long Time On

  • I spent a lot of time on the question “how long can a 9V 200 mAh battery power a 3.3V 200mA board?” I couldn’t compute this.

Problem to be overcome:

  • Due to a combination of scheduling problems (most of us are available at times where we don’t have much light) as well as weather patterns (cloudy days, snowy days) we have not been able to experiment with the solar panel during times of ample daylight and thus our experimentation with the solar panel has been limited.
  • As a result we have not been able to get the MKR1000 running using just the sun.
  • We have not even been able to get an accurate reading of the solar panels Voltage or Current with direct sunlight
  • Daniel has set up the server through his knowledge of servers through his Networked Interactions class (thanks Daniel)

Next Steps

  • Next steps is:
    • come to ITP bright and early and take reading of solar panel with direct sunlight
    • build circuit to supply necessary voltage to MKR1000 without frying it (may have to use voltage regulator, given it’s operating capacity is 3.3V)
    • come in bright and early again and test the circuit in real time with real sunlight.



Topic of Interest

Assignment (individuals): Decide which of the elements we’ve listed so far (driving forces, current conditions, predetermined elements, trends, uncertainties) is of most interest to you in answering our question and collect as much data as you can around this topic to support in-depth research. Define what you know about the topic and how you know it. Summarize it in a succinct and accessible way to convince the class that it bears further investigation.

[See jumbled notes below]


  • Modernity, post-modernity, meta-modernity: the philosophical underbelly of the technological and information age.
  • Nihilism, Ideological Possession, De-humanization, Polarization vs Wholeness, Unity,
  • Nihalism IS polarization, as nihilism’s other half is ideological possession, they occur in pairs. The only cure is the center: the truth of the individual heart expressed in the outer world.

Evidence of neurosis manifested in desperate violence

How is collective neurosis/nihilism manifested empirically?

-mass shootings, suicides, addictions:

Possible Questions

Question: in the context of the 20th Century history of modernism and post-modernism how is the current age (meta-modernism, let’s call it for now) and how will it affect the collective human psyche?

Question: If television is a medium that favoured totalitarian/authoritarian system of governments, then certain technologies are predisposed to aid certain ideological constructs better than others. Does emerging technologies that will dominate the 21st century help or hinder any system of political/socio/spiritual thought? i.e. What is the implication of  youtube on the collective human psyche? i.e. diversity in YouTube programming: Logan Paul versus Jordan Peterson, is this the same as diversity in TV programming? Fox News vs PBS?

Question: modernism to post-modernism then to what?





Question: what is the ideological map of our current age and how did it map to outdated, existing and emerging technologies?

Question: Modernism, Postmodernism and then what? Hypermodernism, Meta-modernism and examining the current state of what we are in, and what informs the ideological sub-structure of the emergence of humanity-changing technology (including GAFA companies and other large counterparts in China and other leading tech countries).

Question: what is the relation between dominant ideologies of the day and the technologies of the time. Does technology inform ideology or do ideologies inform technology? (Probably a bit of both). Television, for instance, was described as the best tool for totalitarian and authoritarian governments because of it’s one-way nature. What kind of ideology informs our current exponentially developing 21st century technology and vice versa?

XY plotter

Our group (Tony Cheungtao Chan & I) was assigned to make our XY plotter into an XY gluestick plotter. Most notable was the movement of the whole body of the XY plotter revolving around the stuck gluestick.

The kit we used to make this was the XY-Plotter from Mdraw (now since discontinued from that company). It was great as a first-time exersize to see all its component parts!

Pros of the set up:

-very linear, relatively straightforward to assemble

-smooth XY motion.


-instructions featured multiple online versions that, at times, did not match up with the hardware and was at times confusing. I got the feeling the company didn’t spend the extra 10% of energy to iron out all the details at the end.

-pen is limited in its movement and reliability.

-we had problems with the movement of the plotter that stemmed from a combination of a little warping of the metal bar and un-powering of the stepper motors. I think the conclusion was that the driver is insufficient.